Samsung probably wants to put its Galaxy Note 7 scandal behind it and move on to less embarrassing topics now. However, it’s still embroiled in the controversy thanks to a 7% holdout of people who haven’t handed in their smartphone yet in the US.
Samsung’s previous efforts to get users to participate in its Refund and Exchange Program have consisted of doing things like limiting battery charging to 60% via a software update. It’s now upping the stakes in its strategy to get back all 1.9 million units of the handset, 93% of which have been turned in.
Samsung is planning to roll out yet another software update on December 19 which is set to be distributed within 30 days. The OTA upgrade stops the Galaxy Note 7 from charging and eliminates its ability to work as a mobile device. The step comes across as a bit extreme and invasive, but may be necessary in the brand’s eyes given the phone’s exploding tendencies.
While most carriers appear to be coordinating with Samsung, there is one exception. Verizon is not going to beam out the upgrade because of the risk it could pose to Galaxy Note 7 owners who don’t have another smartphone on hand to swap to. Moreover, it doesn’t want to push out an update which will make contacting first responders, medical professionals, or family impossible in emergencies.
Individuals who are still holding on to their Galaxy Note 7 should immediately power down their handset and submit it to their carrier or point of purchase. They can either opt to get a refund or exchange it for a Samsung or non-Samsung phone.